New ‘community orchard’ takes root for Tree Week

Friday 8 December 2017

Acorn and Oakfield Primary Schools have planted a new community orchard at Carrickfergus Mill Ponds as part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s national Tree Week celebrations.

New ‘community orchard’ takes root for Tree Week

Pupils planted over 100 native fruit trees including species of apple, pear and plum.

Tree Week marks the beginning of the tree planting season which runs right through to February.

Cllr Mark McKinty said “I was honoured to plant the first tree at Carrickfergus Mill Ponds community orchard. The pupils were delighted to be involved in this project as part their shared education programme and really enjoyed choosing and planting their fruit trees to watch them grow for many seasons to come.

“The trees planted will become a free food resource for everyone in the community to harvest and enjoy. I hope this site will flourish and provide a valuable resource for the community for many years. I would encourage all our citizens to get outdoors this winter and enjoy the tremendous trees we already have in the Parks & Open Spaces in Mid and East Antrim Borough.”

Nicola Feeney from Natural World Products, who provided the compost for the event said, “NWP is delighted to provide compost for this event. We specialise in the treatment and recycling of organic waste streams or biowastes.

“The compost provided for Carrickfergus Mill Ponds Community Orchard was produced from food and garden waste collected in residents’ brown bins. This project is a great example of our local circular economy in action in the Mid and East Antrim area.”

As part of Tree Week celebrations, there were a range of free activities across Mid and East Antrim including tree planting, coppicing, hedge laying and wreath making.

Staff also planted hundreds of trees with school children and community groups.

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